Ladybugs, ladybird beetles or lady beetles refer to over 5000 different species of insects belonging to family Coccinellidae most of which are beneficial as they prey on sap-feeding including insects such as aphids. Nonetheless, some such as the Mexican bean beetle are pests.
Fully grown adults ladybugs have “convex, hemispherical to oval-shaped bodies that can be yellow, pink, orange, red, or black, and usually are marked with distinct spots.” notes the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Their bright color and the foul smelling and a nasty fluid they produce from their joints help them from being preyed.
Are ladybugs toxic or harmful to cats?
Crawling, flying or hopping bugs often attract the attention of cats since it triggers their natural hunting instincts. While in the wild, insects contribute to almost a third of their source of food and they are also a popular source of food for domestic or pet cats. Ladybird beetles are no exclusion.
Most species of lady beetles are not poisonous or toxic to cats. However, they produce awful smelling secretions that taste nasty to deter animals from preying on them.
Furthermore, according to Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Veterinarian, “there is the possibility if the ladybugs are consumed in very large quantities for stomach upset and even ulceration and impaction.”
Furthermore, borrowing from the cause of Asian ladybugs in a dog's mouth incident, it is reasonable to deduce that they may cause not exactly but similar effects.
For instance, there has not been a case of these beetle species being embedded in a cat’s mouth. However, if ingested, they might cause problems such as ulceration, bloodstained diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms of gastroenteritis.
All these are indicators that whereas they are not toxic or poisonous, they may potentially cause health issues to this furry friend, especially if he or she eats too many of them. This is our basis of considering ladybugs bad for cats.
While it may be difficult to completely stop your feline friend from eating various bugs, try to discourage him or her since some like wasps and bees sting, others such as black widow spiders are venomous and will bite these pets back.
Furthermore, some of the bugs may be vectors of various disease or carry internal parasites such as worms. This should be another reason why you should not let these animals eat ladybird beetles.
Finally, if you want to control or exterminate any insects and other bugs that might be around your home, ensure you go for pet-friendly methods since these pets may ingest some of the insecticide or pesticide soaked bugs and other invertebrates that might affect them.